In an interview for top British magazine CAR, Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO said the rise of the SUV segment isn’t over yet and we’re looking at quite a few more years of growth.
Remember how a few years (OK, maybe a decade or two) ago we were looking at the Americans and thinking “my god, those hopeless rednecks with their huge trucks – when will they ever get civilized like us? Would you kindly pass the tea, my dear?”
Well, their trucks are still at least two sizes bigger than what we call an SUV, but the fact of the matter remains: the Americans were the visionaries, using big 4×4 vehicles without having an actual need for them before all of us.
Speaking exclusively to the CAR magazine reporter, Dieter Zetsche claimed the SUV segment is still expanding and said Mercedes-Benz will continue to exploit this huge popularity of the SUVs. After all, he was speaking at the press launch event for a new Mercedes-Benz SUV (the GLC), so what did you expect him to say?
In the span of 18 years, Mercedes-Benz has gone from only one true 4×4 vehicle to no less than five SUV models, having added the ML (GLE), GL (GLS), GLK (GLC) and GLA model lines. If that doesn’t spell determination, than I don’t know what does.
The reasoning behind this unstoppable popularity, according to Zetsche, is based on some key features of (almost) all SUVs: higher seating position, superior visibility, better traction and overall better safety. “Even if they rarely use their off-road ability, it’s an insurance policy – they like to know they can get out if the weather turns bad” said Dieter Zetsche, echoing thousands of SUV owners who answered just the same when asked “why didn’t you buy an estate instead?”
“Our assessment is that we will see even higher growth in SUV sales in the years ahead” – he went on to say – “and that view is in line with the wider industry. We are continuing to develop more product ideas.”
“We are going through every segment we offer and looking to see if we can offer a more rugged model and a more coupe-like version. This is not the end of our SUV expansion at all.”
Tired of seeing large vehicles everywhere you look? You’ve got three options: quit driving, get over it, or get an SUV.